As I approach my 30's I feel an intense sloughing off of old beliefs and expectations. A lot of people have told me their 30's were their favorite time because they had finally let go of insecurities and pressure from the outside world. They were also young enough to not feel buckets of regret about it.
It is the Sweet Spot. For some.
When I'm feeling stressed out it's good for me to evaluate where the expectations are coming from. And on a larger scale, what is my model of the world? What do I believe HAS to happen in order for me to feel fulfilled? In the past I had quite the list:
Serve others first and forego my own comfort.
Make every action directed toward helping others.
Create businesses that help others.
Don't follow your dreams because they may not "help others."
Push down your desires because they are selfish.
Don't be a consumer.
Only support local or grow your own food.
Share your space, time and money with people who need it.
Unfortunately, this list destroyed me. I became burnt out, angry, poor, sick and unfulfilled. I used to watch movies about Saint Francis of Assisi for life inspiration. We had friends who were living on the streets, friends who didn't have food. We were trying to live in solidarity and provide a space for everyone to use at their need.
I think a lot of my frustration came when I realized after all those years of "giving" myself, money, time and energy...there was no climax, no thanks...and Johnny and I were left with the realization that we weren't set up for adult life. We had to continue trading our comfort to move forward, to buy our land. And even now, as we approach two years since buying it, we are no where closer to moving.
This isn't a pity party. Johnny and I are very good at rising to an occasion and slaying it. We literally dream and scheme every single day. But something needs to change. The tiny house we built wasn't made for the long term...and I still don't have a shower. (haha) You could say, "just move into an apartment." But that feels like a soul crusher to me. Especially since we've been trying to move out of Portland. That would keep us here longer.
On the bright side, we have begun allowing ourselves to play and adventure more. We got married as children yet we took on so much crap. We're trying to view this time of life as a re-do of our early 20's. I started Pole Dancing again, Johnny is surfing and snowboarding. I have kept my model of wanting to be of service to other people but now it is in the form of wellness coaching.
(Speaking of that! I have a retreat for women coming up in November: Blue Ocean Retreat)
Our goal, now, is to not push ourselves toward the property if it's not happening. We've sacrificed a lot of our joy over the years and I don't want to do that again. Money is always the issue, for a lot of us, and we continue to dream up ways of making more and providing more value to people in the process.
Ultimately we want to develop the property and provide a space for people to come stay, our intentions are still focused on giving and sharing with others, but at this rate it will be another 5 years. So...we're at a cross road. And we've thrown around a lot of options. No decision has been made but we are always open to taking the ideas and thoughts from others who have experiences to share.
My new model:
Pursue what brings you joy.
When you feel joy you will be more able to give to others.
You will be in a resourceful state to solve problems.
Don't let "shoulds" rule your life.
Life has a way of throwing you curve balls.
Live open minded, with and open heart and open hands.
Ride the wave. (now that I've surfed I know how intense, scary and epic this really is)
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David